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Displaying items by tag: seals

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Seal Sanctuary has raised concerns after eight seals were found dead in Wexford and Waterford in recent days, as RTÉ News reports.

A shocking total of six carcasses were discovered near Fethard-on-Sea alone, while one apiece were found near Dunmore East and in Tramore - the latter reportedly decapitated.

The news comes just a few months after Johnny Woodlock of the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary warned of a "swing of activity" in seal fatalities around Ireland earlier this year.

The most horrific of these incidents was the grisly scene of two baby seal heads nailed to a sign outside the Dingle wildlife sanctuary, accompanied by graffiti daubed in red paint reading 'RIP Cull' - presumed to be a reference to local fishermen's urging for a reduction of seal numbers in the area.

More recently, reports from Castlerock in Co Derry suggested that a dead seal found on the beach suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

All seals in Ireland are protected under national and EU law.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary is currently urging the National Parks and Wildlife Service to launch an investigation into these latest incidents, and is appealing to the public for information on these or other seal deaths.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Manx Wildlife Trust has commenced its annual survey of seal pups on the Calf of Man, as Isle of Man Today reports.

Volunteers will be on watch at the island nature reserve, off the southwest coast of Man proper in the Irish Sea, for the next four weeks to develop a complete picture of the area's grey seal pupping season.

As of Sunday 14 October, some 14 seal pups have already been born, which is a few less than last year, according to marine officer Eleanor Stone - though she notes "there are still many pregnant females around, just waiting for their time to give birth".

Stone, who is volunteering on the first week-long shift, said the trust has already spotted six seals recognised from previous years, and it is expected many more will be returning to the sheltered beaches of the islet.

Isle of Man Today has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Globe and Mail reports that Canada is keeping tabs on an EU plan to "manage" Europe's seal population amid growing controversy over the issue.

Last month the European Parliament approved a resolution on the Common Fisheries Policy that called for the European Commission to investigate the impact of "natural predators such as sea lions, seals and cormorants" on the reduction of fish stocks and draw up plans to regulate their numbers.

Canada's sealing industry claims this about-face in EU policy is hypocritical considering Europe's ban on commercial seal products three years ago, as well as its longstanding criticism of the Canadian seal hunt.

Already Scotland has approved a cull that has granted licences to kill over 1,000 seals on its coastline this year alone. And fishermen in Ireland, particularly on the west coast, are calling for the Irish authorities to take similar action.

Afloat.ie has previously reported on the tensions between fishermen and marine wildlife campaigners over the impact of protected seal populations on fish stocks.

Over the summer, the Dingle Seal Sanctuary claimed that a number of horrific reports of illegal seal killings committed by culprits unknown are part of a "swing in activity" since the start of the year - although the National Parks and Wildlife Service said it has not recorded any increase.

Fishermen in Kerry have come out in condemnation of these illegal killings, in particular the barbaric scene in which two baby seal heads were nailed to signs outside the Dingle sanctuary in early June.

However, they maintain that a cull of the local grey seal population is necessary, claiming they are "over-protected" and can consume as much as 10kg of fish each per day, resulting in depleted stocks of hake and haddock, as well as posing a threat to salmon conservation measures.

The Globe and Mail has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - An investigation is underway to determine the cause of death of a seal found on a Derry beach this week.

As UTV News reports, the seal was found on Castlerock strand on Wednesday afternoon, and local reports suggest it suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

In a statement, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) confirmed that the carcass had been removed for a postmortem to determine the cause of death, and that the PSNI has also been made aware of the matter.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Dingle Seal Sanctuary commented on what it saw as a "swing in activity" in illegal seal killings around Ireland earlier this year - following a shocking incident at the sanctuary in June.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's Green Party warned in March that "rogue" anglers in Co Down may shoot seals they accused of consuming their fish stocks, after the protected marine wildlife managed to enter a section of the River Quoile.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The recent horrific reports of seal killings are but part of a "swing in activity" over the past few months, as TheJournal.ie reports.

Gardaí continue to investigate the shocking incident in Dingle two weeks ago, where the heads of two baby seals were found nailed to signs outside a wildlife sanctuary - an act condemned by fishermen in spite of their support for a cull of seals along the West coast.

Just days later, a husband and wife kayaking at Knockadoon head in East Cork were "sickened to the core" by the sight of two seals who had been shot.

And last week the Dingle Seal and Wildlife Sanctuary received calls of two separate seal deaths around the coast, one reporting a headless seal discovered at Whiting Bay in Waterford.

The incidents follow fears from earier this year of an illegal cull of marine wildlife after a two seals were found dying from bullet wounds on Tramore Beach in Co Waterford.

“There has been a swing in activity in recent months,” said Johnny Woodlock of the Dingle Seal Sanctuary, who added that many of the seals found dead "have apparent gun shot wounds" though it is difficult to determine the cause of death without an autopsy.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) says it has not recorded any increase in illegal seal killings off Cork or Kerry. But Woodlock claims this is because "there is nobody keeping records of dead seals washing up on beaches".

An NPWS survey of coastal seal numbers is ongoing, and exact figures have yet to be published.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Staff at the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary were subject this morning to the gruesome sight of two baby seal heads nailed to signs outside the facility.

According to the Irish Independent, the grisly scene was accompanied by a sign reading 'RIP Cull' in red paint, presumed to be a reference to local fishermen's urging for a reduction of seal numbers in the area.

Last year Afloat.ie reported on Kerry fishermen's call for a cull of the "overprotected" local grey seal population over claims that they eat up to 10kg of fish a day.

And earlier this year, fears were growing of an illegal cull of marine wildlife after a two seals were found dying from bullet wounds on Tramore Beach in Co Waterford.

"It was sickening," said the sanctuary's Ally McMillan of the incident. "I wanted to be sick when I saw them."

Gardaí in Dingle removed the seal heads and sign as part of their investigation.

Meanwhile, the Irish Examiner reports that animal rights group ARAN has put up a €5,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest or conviction of those responsible for the killing.

“Animal abusers are cowards, and we’re hoping this reward will apprehend those responsible for this most sickening act of animal abuse,” said ARAN spokesman Stephan Wymore.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Northern Ireland's Green Party has warned that "rogue" anglers may shoot seals that are consuming their fish stocks unless they are relocated, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The protected seals have been getting into the River Quoile in Co Down, allegedly by way of a damaged fish pass, and decimating the area's fish stocks - much to the consternation of local anglers.

Earlier this week Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín confirmed in a response to a question from Green Party MLA Steven Agnew that department officials have requested the Rivers Agency to carry out repairs on the fish pass.

But she also said that no action can be taken to remove seals from the river "without the approval of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency", adding that her department "does not have the specialist knowledge and equipment to remove the seals".

A Green Party spokesperson described the repair work as "absolutely vital because even if the seals are safely removed from the Quoile they will only make their way back in if the fish pass is not repaired.

"And a rather worrying consideration is that a very small rogue element would be prepared to shoot the seals if a solution is not forthcoming.”

Seal shootings have been much in the news as of late, with gardaí in Waterford investigating attacks on four animals in Tramore.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Newstalk reports that gardaí are investigaing the shooting of seals on a Waterford beach.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, fears are mounting of an illegal cull of marine wildlife in the area after a seal and a dolphin were found dead from gunshot wounds within a day of two seals being discovered with similar wounds.

All four animals were found along the same stretch of Tramore Beach late last month.

A spokesperson for the Irish Seal Sanctuacy pointed the finger at an illegal cull allegedly carried out by local fishermen.

The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the Garda investigation into the incidents, and has called on the public to report any relevant information they may have.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Fears are growing of an illegal cull of marine wildlife after a seal and dolphin were discovered dead on a Waterford beach - just hours after two seals were found dying from bullet wounds in the same location.

TheJournal.ie reports that the wounds on the two animals found on Tramore Beach on Thursday are also believed to be from gunshot.

Two grey seals were euthanised the previous evening after they were discovered gravely injured with "horrific" wounds on the same beach.

A spokesperson for the Irish Seal Sanctuacy (ISS) has called for a post-mortem of the animals to determine the exact cause of death - but pointed the finger at an illegal cull allegedly carried out by local fishermen.

"We’re not against a properly regulated cull," said the ISS's Johnny Woodlock, "but it’s the guy who goes out with a shotgun and takes potshots, that’s what we’re against.”

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE, including an image that many may find distressing.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Seven dead seals washed up in Donegal are believed to have died of natural causes - but concerns over a pattern of seal deaths nationwide remain.
As the Donegal Democrat reports, the seven grey seals - which are a protected species - were found beached along with a dead dolphin in the Rosberg area.
A ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service confirmed that none of the marine animals had been shot.
But Pauline Beades of the Irish Seal Sanctuary said the find was just one in a series of reports of "strange" seal deaths around the country.
“You don’t find three, four, five animals dead on a beach," she said. "I would be very concerned that this is not a normal occurrence.”
It is not yet known if a post-mortem will be carried out in the dead seals, but members of the public are encouraged to report any similar finds as the thocine distemper virus has been responsible for seal deaths in the past.
Beades said that grey seals are now having their young, and asked the public to keep an eye out for seal pups and report anything that looks suspicious in the area.
The Donegal Democrat has more on the story HERE.

Seven dead seals washed up in Donegal are believed to have died of natural causes - but concerns over a pattern of seal deaths nationwide remain.

As the Donegal Democrat reports, the seven grey seals - which are a protected species - were found beached along with a dead dolphin in the Rosberg area. 

A ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service confirmed that none of the marine animals had been shot.

But Pauline Beades of the Irish Seal Sanctuary said the find was just one in a series of reports of "strange" seal deaths around the country.

“You don’t find three, four, five animals dead on a beach," she said. "I would be very concerned that this is not a normal occurrence.”

It is not yet known if a post-mortem will be carried out in the dead seals, but members of the public are encouraged to report any similar finds as the thocine distemper virus has been responsible for seal deaths in the past.

Beades said that grey seals are now having their young, and asked the public to keep an eye out for seal pups and report anything that looks suspicious in the area.

The Donegal Democrat has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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